The deepest oil well drilled in Israel’s 65-year history may be the most important.
Houston’s Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) will probe 6,500 meters (4 miles) below the Mediterranean seabed later this year, targeting as much as 1.5 billion barrels of crude, equal to about 15 years of Israeli demand.
While explorers have found enough natural gas in the past five years to turn Israel into an exporter, a major oil discovery would break new ground. The Middle East’s third-largest economy spends about $10 billion a year importing 98 percent of the oil it uses. Domestic production would increase tax revenue, boost the country’s balance of payments and reduce vulnerability to supply disruptions.
“The economic impact on Israel would be far greater than that of natural gas,” David Wurmser, director of the Washington-based Delphi Global Analysis Group, said in a phone interview. “Finding the oil would mean big money for the Israeli companies and the government.”
The Jerusalem Post wrote in an article yesterday that an offshore transmission buoy would begin operating today, supplying liquefied natural gas to Israel. Israel’s offshore Tamar gas field won’t begin production until April, but the offshore buoy is capable of supplying 4 -5 million cubic meters per day until Tamar’s production comes online. The Israeli government estimates that this new supply channel of natural gas will save the their economy 500 million NIS ($135 million) in just the first few weeks of operation, and billions in the next few years. Energy transferred from the new natural gas supply will generate 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts per hour (30,000 – 40,000 homes). This new supply is a milestone in Israel’s 80/20 goal, to have 80% of the country’s electrical energy needs supplied by natural gas. When Israel’s recent natural gas discoveries come into production they will be capable of supplying 100% of their natural gas needs without imports and export natural gas to other markets.
Zion Oil & Gas announced yesterday in a newsletter to shareholders and friends that results from their second re-entry into the Elijah #3 well failed to give enough evidence of hydrocarbons to continue developing the well. Read more
Zion Oil & Gas began re-entry operations this week at their Elijah #3 well in Northern Israel. Israeli drilling company, Lapidoth, erected it’s drilling rig and prepared the site. Zion is scheduled to begin its vertical seismic profile operation in the well early next week after completing wireline logging.
Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel – July 2, 2012 – Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: ZN) announced today that, on June 28, 2012, it signed an agreement with Lapidoth Israel Oil Prospectors Corp. Ltd (“Lapidoth”) regarding further exploratory work to be performed in Zion’s Asher-Menashe License area in northern Israel.
Under the terms of the workover agreement, in July 2012, Lapidoth will mobilize their Franks 750 drilling rig to Zion’s temporarily suspended Elijah #3 well. The planned work program includes re-entering the existing wellbore, partially drilling out the existing plug, acquiring electric log data via wireline, acquiring vertical seismic profile data, and possibly obtaining sidewall core samples.
Zion’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, said today, “The signing of the agreement with Lapidoth allows us to move forward with our exploration program in our Asher-Menashe License area. We look forward to acquiring vertical seismic profile data in this petroleum exploration area, as the additional seismic data should help us to evaluate the next steps we need to take with respect to our temporarily suspended Elijah #3 well and also to identify prospects within this license area.”
The primary purpose of the planned work is to obtain additional geologic and geophysical data and to better understand the hydrocarbon potential of a zone through which Zion drilled while drilling the Elijah #3 well in 2009/2010. The Elijah #3 well, originally planned to drill to below 17,000 feet to test both Triassic and Permian-aged geological formations, was temporarily suspended after encountering technical issues at a total depth of approximately 11,000 feet.
Zion’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Victor Carrillo, said today: “We hope to learn more about the observed oil and gas shows in a zone from approximately 8,000 to 9,000 feet that were correlated to other regional hydrocarbon shows. Zion has never sought an offset vertical seismic profile in Israel and we hope to obtain a better subsurface image of the zone near the wellbore to determine future oil prospects in this area.”
Zion Oil & Gas, a Delaware corporation, explores for oil and gas in Israel in areas located onshore between Haifa and Tel Aviv. It currently holds three petroleum exploration licenses: the Joseph License (on approximately 83,272 acres) and the Asher-Menashe License (on approximately 78,824 acres) between Netanya, in the south, and Haifa, in the north, and the Jordan Valley License (on approximately 55,845 acres), just south of the Sea of Galilee. The total license area amounts to approximately 218,000 acres
Russia’s Gazprom, the Russian natural gas monopoly, was back in Israel this week meeting with Delek Group executives to ‘examine possible cooperation’ in producing and delivering natural gas to Europe from Israel’s newly discovered massive gas fields in the Mediterranean.
According to a Globes Business report, “Gazprom’s aims are still unclear. The major concern in Israel’s gas exploration sector is that the Russian energy company wants to block possible gas exports to Europe. Even if Israel’s Leviathan is a relatively minor player in the European gas market compared with the Russian giant, the prices agreed upon and types of contracts signed by Israeli companies could create unwelcome precedents from Gazprom’s point of view.”
The report goes on to say that Gazprom is the world’s largest natural gas producer and, unlike other multi-national energy companies, has no concerns over Arab boycott threats.
For more than three years, OilinIsrael.net has been reporting on Gazprom’s attempts to participate in and plans to control the Mediterranean and European gas markets (see “Russia Tried to Buy in to Israel’s Gas Discovery”). Gazprom isn’t merely the world’s largest natural gas supplier, it is a company controlled by the Russian government. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, was Gazprom’s CEO before taking his current position as head of state.
The prophet Ezekiel wrote: “‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, Gog (Russia), chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army …’” (Ezekiel 38:3-4)
“On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people (Israel) —all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:10-12)
The Bible prophesies that, one day, God will ‘put a hook’ in Russia’s jaw to draw it down into Israel, where it will plan to ‘plunder and loot’ an ‘unsuspecting people’. Are Israel’s newly discovered natural gas fields and, eventually, it’s oil the ‘hook’ that draws Russia into Israel? That may be.
But if it’s so, Russia had better take warning in Ezekiel’s prophecy:
“This is what will happen in that day: When Gog (Russia) attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 38:18-23)
If there is an “evil scheme” brewing in the mind of Gog, I would advise Gazprom, and Russia’s President, Mr. Medvedev of the one lesson that continues to repeat itself throughout history: Don’t mess with Israel.
Zion Oil & Gas debuted it’s 2012 Corporate video, “The Joseph Project”, during last week’s National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. In the video Zion Founder John Brown reviews the company’s mission and vision for Israel. Zion CEO Richard Rinberg and COO Victor Carrillo share their thoughts on the recent and future exploration activities.
Zion Oil & Gas is dedicated to finding and producing oil and gas in Israel.
February 21, 2012, Nashville, TN
Zion President and COO, Victor Carrillo, during a press conference at the 2012 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, announced yesterday that Zion plans to re-enter the Elijah 3 well in the Asher-Menashe Exploration territory. Carrillo stated that Zion Oil & Gas plans to re-enter the well bore late this Spring in order to evaluate the well’s production potential and to determine if the well should be completed.
Zion began drilling operations at the Elijah 3 well in October 2009. Their target depth was toward the Triassic geological formation, which was estimated below approximately 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). Zion reached a depth of 10,938 feet (3,334 meters) but temporarily suspended drilling operations in the well following unsuccessful efforts to retrieve a stuck pipe.
Carrillo also announced in yesterday’s press conference, that later this year, Zion plans to begin drilling its first well in the company’s Jordan Valley license.
Zion Oil & Gas hold the largest on-shore oil and gas exploration license area in Israel.
The discovery well was drilled to a depth of 19,225 feet in water depth of about 5,540 feet. Results from drilling, formation logs and initial evaluation work indicate an estimated gross resource range(1) of 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), with a gross mean of 7 Tcf. The Cyprus Block 12 field covers approximately 40 square miles and will require additional appraisal drilling prior to development.
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, said, “We are excited to announce the discovery of significant natural gas resources inCyprus on Block 12. This is the fifth consecutive natural gas field discovery for Noble Energy and our partners in the greater Levant basin, with total gross mean resources for the five discoveries currently estimated to be over 33 Tcf. This latest discovery in Cyprus further highlights the quality and significance of this world-class basin.”
Noble Energy operates the well with a 70 percent working interest. Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration will each have 15 percent, subject to final approval by the Government of Cyprus.
(from Natural Gas Asia) Delek Drilling-LP (DEDRL) and its partners in Israel’s Tamar gas field have signed a $5 billon agreement to supply Dalia Power Energies Ltd. with natural gas for 17 years.
Bloomberg reports that Tel Aviv-based Dalia Power is building a power station using natural gas at the Tzafit site in central Israel. Once completed, the plant would supply some 8 per cent of national energy consumption, making it one of the country’s biggest privately operated power stations. Israel is encouraging the development of independent power producers to introduce competition in a market monopolized by state-owned Israel Electric Corp. “This is one of several deals that we expect to come,” said Richard Gussow, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in Tel Aviv.
In November of last year, South Korean giant Daewoo signed a deal with the partners in the Tamar field, (Noble, Delek Group and Isramco Inc.) to develop the Tamar gas field. Daewoo expects to produce liquefied natural gas from the field by the end of 2016. Estimates put the field to have 240 billion cubic meters of natural gas.